001 - 002 | -This hike explores Hilton Falls Conservation Area trails.
From the visitor’s centre at Hilton Falls Conservation Area, head north to the trail start (002).
002 - 003 | 0.2 kmTurn left and follow the trail which enters a rocky area and gradually climbs upwards to the first T-intersection (003) (Point A).
003 - 004 | 0.8 kmGo left and follow the wide gravel trail as it winds through the forest to Point C (004).
004 - 005 | 1.3 kmAt Point C (004), continue on straight ahead. The trail winds gracefully through the forest arriving at a Bruce Trail side trail (005) with it’s blue blazes on the trees.
005 -006 | 1.4 kmGo left and follow this side trail. The Bruce Trail crosses another one of the Hilton Falls trails at (006).
006 - 007 | 1.6 kmContinue on the marked side trail with the blue blazes straight ahead into the woods. The trail now enters a pine forest carpeted in pine needles but rocky and nears the edge of the Escarpment. By now you can hear the roar of Hilton Falls up ahead. At point (007) you will see a dry well with a sign outlining its geological formation. [See Hilton Falls waterfall for another take on this].
007 - 008 | 2.0 kmThe trail continues ahead along the Escarpment until you reach Hilton Falls (008). Here you will find picnic tables and a BBQ as well as a staircase down to the bottom of the falls. There is also a good viewing platform above the crest of the falls. The falls are created by a branch of Sixteen Mile Creek pouring over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. Early settlers saw the potential of the falls. Between 1835 and 1867, three separate sawmills were built over the falls. None lasted long, either being abandoned or burnt down.
008 - 009 | 2.3 kmLeaving Hilton Falls, follow the informal trail alongside the creek until you come to a wet area and need to climb up a rocky hill on the other side. Continue along the side trail along the edge of the stream. Shortly you will arrive at a bridge across the creek (009) with a blue sign saying that crossing the bridge leads to Hilton’s Highway.
009 -010 km | 2.5 kmHowever we do not wish to cross this bridge but rather continue to follow the side trail which swings to the right. The trail now moves away from the river and climbs a hill peppered with rocks all the way up. The rocks continue along the path for some distance. The trail now descends down into a wet swampy area with somewhat of a dam partway across the small creek. Some logs in the lower area enable you to keep dry if you cross this wet area with care. Once across the wet area there is a very rocky cliff face (010) about 4 m high with a relatively easy climb to the top.
010 -011 | 3.1 kmThe trail becomes laden with flat rocks as it winds through the woods and crosses a small creek with some branches and rocks enabling an easy crossing. Numerous beds of white trilliums in bloom carpet the area in Spring. The trail comes to a turn and another wet area and follows along a rusty fence. The trail comes out at (011) to one of the wide Hilton Falls main trails.
011 - 012 | 3.3 kmHere (011) we leave the side trail (which continues straight ahead) and turn left to follow this main trail. Soon you will arrive at Point F (012) where a map of the area can be seen.
012 - 013 | 3.6 kmTurn right at Point F to loop around the Beaver Dam Trail. Here one of the tributaries of Sixteen Mile Creek flows through a series of beaver ponds and dams. The Beaver Dam Trail passes through an early successional forest of birch, maple and poplar. Following the wide main gravel trail you approach a substantial wooden plank bridge with another Bruce side trail going off into the woods to your right. Cross the bridge to find a wooden picnic table along the water’s edge (013) . Lots of small reptiles and amphibians can be seen in this area if you move quietly.
013 - 014 | 5.2 kmContinue along this wide gravel trail which is also a Bruce Side Trail. Numerous beds of white trilliums can be seen along both sides of the trail for some distance. On the right you will pass a regeneration area where the path is closed until further notice. Please respect such areas. The wide trail passes through a dense stand of pine with the forest floor covered in a mat of pine needles. Along the trail on the right hand side there is a single picnic table and a pile of logs and some rocks around a fire pit (014).
014 - 015 | 5.5 kmThe trail climbs a gravel hill and at the top there is a big U (015) .
015 - 016 | 6.5 km To your right in about 15 m there is a blue sign marking the continuation of the Bruce Side Trail. However we do not wish to follow this trail any longer so keep on the main trail to your left. The trail passes a low wet area which is sometimes covered by water. However a small trail to your left skirts around this wet area on higher ground. Soon you will see a gravel bridge (016) with a culvert running underneath to allow Sixteen Mile Creek to pass through from the large pond on the right. At some times of the year you may have to wade knee-deep across this bridge which can be flooded.
016 - 017 | 7.5 kmThe trail narrows down substantially and wanders through the woods before arriving at the Wally & Beaver bicycle track (017) .
017 - 018 | 7.7 kmContinuing ahead, the trail comes to a curved wooden bridge over a pond area with a creek running over some rapids on the left. A second bridge (018) leads over the creek.
018 - 019 | 8.7 kmThe trail continues over a rocky area and brings you back to point F again (011) . Continue straight ahead to point E and take the path to the left where you will find an outdoor toilet (019).
019 - 020 | 8.8 kmContinuing straight ahead, soon you will arrive at another intersection (020).
020 - 021 | 9.0 kmContinue straight ahead on the gravel path. Soon you will hear the roar of another waterfall where the water plumes down into the Hilton Falls Reservoir at a small bridge (021) over the path. Informal trails on either side of the gulley afford good views of the water pouring over the rocks and into the 35 acre reservoir below that was built in 1971. The rocks on the far side allow for a careful descent if you are so inclined.
021 - 022 | 9.2 kmContinuing ahead you will pass the Brent Rim bicycle trail (022).
022 - 023 | 9.6 kmA Bruce Trail side trail from the Dufferin Quarry Bridge Hike comes into the path at intersection (023).
023 - 001 | 10.8 kmContinue straight ahead. The trail descends and crosses the top of a concrete dam that forms the long end wall of the reservoir. Follow the remaining trail back to the visitor’s centre and parking lot which you can see on your left.
Enjoy the hike and the day!